Walt Whitman

Here you will find the Long Poem Salut Au Monde of poet Walt Whitman

Salut Au Monde

O TAKE my hand, Walt Whitman!
 Such gliding wonders! such sights and sounds!
 Such join'd unended links, each hook'd to the next!
 Each answering all--each sharing the earth with all.

 What widens within you, Walt Whitman?
 What waves and soils exuding?
 What climes? what persons and lands are here?
 Who are the infants? some playing, some slumbering?
 Who are the girls? who are the married women?
 Who are the groups of old men going slowly with their arms about each
 other's necks? 10
 What rivers are these? what forests and fruits are these?
 What are the mountains call'd that rise so high in the mists?
 What myriads of dwellings are they, fill'd with dwellers?

 Within me latitude widens, longitude lengthens;
 Asia, Africa, Europe, are to the east--America is provided for in the
 Banding the bulge of the earth winds the hot equator,
 Curiously north and south turn the axis-ends;
 Within me is the longest day--the sun wheels in slanting rings--it
 does not set for months;
 Stretch'd in due time within me the midnight sun just rises above the
 horizon, and sinks again;
 Within me zones, seas, cataracts, plants, volcanoes, groups, 20
 Malaysia, Polynesia, and the great West Indian islands.

 What do you hear, Walt Whitman?

 I hear the workman singing, and the farmer's wife singing;
 I hear in the distance the sounds of children, and of animals early
 in the day;
 I hear quick rifle-cracks from the riflemen of East Tennessee and
 Kentucky, hunting on hills;
 I hear emulous shouts of Australians, pursuing the wild horse;
 I hear the Spanish dance, with castanets, in the chestnut shade, to
 the rebeck and guitar;
 I hear continual echoes from the Thames;
 I hear fierce French liberty songs;
 I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative of old
 poems; 30
 I hear the Virginia plantation-chorus of negroes, of a harvest night,
 in the glare of pine-knots;
 I hear the strong baritone of the 'long-shore-men of Mannahatta;
 I hear the stevedores unlading the cargoes, and singing;
 I hear the screams of the water-fowl of solitary north-west lakes;
 I hear the rustling pattering of locusts, as they strike the grain
 and grass with the showers of their terrible clouds;
 I hear the Coptic refrain, toward sundown, pensively falling on the
 breast of the black venerable vast mother, the Nile;
 I hear the bugles of raft-tenders on the streams of Kanada;
 I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the bells of the mule;
 I hear the Arab muezzin, calling from the top of the mosque;
 I hear the Christian priests at the altars of their churches--I hear
 the responsive bass and soprano; 40
 I hear the wail of utter despair of the white-hair'd Irish
 grandparents, when they learn the death of their grandson;
 I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor's voice, putting to sea
 at Okotsk;
 I hear the wheeze of the slave-coffle, as the slaves march on--as the
 husky gangs pass on by twos and threes, fasten'd together with
 wrist-chains and ankle-chains;
 I hear the entreaties of women tied up for punishment--I hear the
 sibilant whisk of thongs through the air;
 I hear the Hebrew reading his records and psalms;
 I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the strong legends of
 the Romans;
 I hear the tale of the divine life and bloody death of the beautiful
 God--the Christ;
 I hear the Hindoo teaching his favorite pupil the loves, wars,
 adages, transmitted safely to this day, from poets who wrote
 three thousand years ago.

 What do you see, Walt Whitman?
 Who are they you salute, and that one after another salute you? 50

 I see a great round wonder rolling through the air;
 I see diminute farms, hamlets, ruins, grave-yards, jails, factories,
 palaces, hovels, huts of barbarians, tents of nomads, upon the
 I see the shaded part on one side, where the sleepers are sleeping--
 and the sun-lit part on the other side,
 I see the curious silent change of the light and shade,
 I see distant lands, as real and near to the inhabitants of them, as
 my land is to me.

 I see plenteous waters;
 I see mountain peaks--I see the sierras of Andes and Alleghanies,
 where they range;
 I see plainly the Himalayas, Chian Shahs, Altays, Ghauts;
 I see the giant pinnacles of Elbruz, Kazbek, Bazardjusi,
 I see the Rocky Mountains, and the Peak of Winds; 60
 I see the Styrian Alps, and the Karnac Alps;
 I see the Pyrenees, Balks, Carpathians--and to the north the
 Dofrafields, and off at sea Mount Hecla;
 I see Vesuvius and Etna--I see the Anahuacs;
 I see the Mountains of the Moon, and the Snow Mountains, and the Red
 Mountains of Madagascar;
 I see the Vermont hills, and the long string of Cordilleras;